Deep Trekker introduced a really cool underwater drone at this week’s DEMA Show 2015 in Orlando.
Deep Trekker‘s Sam MacDonald boasts:
“Deep Trekker is intended to be your fully portable battery-powered eyes in the water in 30 seconds or less, and the DTG2 is our flagship.”
From the looks of the set-up, she doesn’t appear to be exaggerating.
The DTG2 is guided by a hand-held controller. Depending on the location of the operator, the controller can be bright yellow plastic for surface operation, cast commercial grade aluminum for diveable depths to 75 meters, or machined aluminum with diveable depths to 150 meters. Operators can literally take their ROV diving with them.
The Deep Trekker marine ROV can be sent ahead of the diver into potentially dangerous overhead environments. Caves and shipwrecks can now be explored before the diver ever enters a risk area. The controller is attached to the underwater drone by way of tethers ranging from the standard 50m length to up to 400m.
The ROV itself is made of cast aluminum with machined sealing surfaces. The unit is then anodized and given a two-part powder coat for extra durability in saltwater environments. The center ring through which the onboard camera shoots video and still photos is made of clear acrylic. The camera rotates 270 degrees and the light is mounted with the camera to provide continual illumination of the field of view.
Optional equipment packages include a sensor package, which provides depth, heading, and temperature data and a gripping manipulator that can continually rotate 360 degrees and has 75 pounds of holding pressure. An optional cutter is available as is an additional lighting package. Likewise, there are two sonar options available including chirp, which provides object avoidance capabilities, and ultra-short base line (USBL), which is an acoustic based positioning system to provide relative position. An Ultra 4K video system is also available for those who want film-quality video.
Deep Trekker’s DTX2 is the big brother to the DTG2, which is a vectored ROV with four thrusters positioned such that lateral movements are easily attained. The maximum operating depth for the DTX2 is 305 meters, or more specifically, one thousand feet. The depth, heading, and temperature sensors come standard along with five lights, and the base tether is 150 meters.
Their newest product, which will be available in December, is a fully submersible pipe crawler. Whether the pipe is dry, partially submerged, or fully submerged, the crawler provides exceptional inspection capabilities. The HD camera rotates 360 degrees and can pan or take still photos at 270 degrees.
While the commercial applications of this ROV technology appear to be endless, the benefits to divers and other marine enthusiasts are equally exciting. Exploring dive sites, checking a favorite fishing spot, and even confirming visibility prior to dropping in on a deep wreck is simple and efficient.
Dr. Branon A. Edwards is a PADI Divemaster and former Scuba Editor for DeeperBlue.com. He is an avid diver, spearfisherman, and sailor who lives aboard a 32-foot sailboat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.